3 Key Lessons from a Decade of Investing

I am fast closing in on the 10th anniversary of my first ever purchase of a Singapore stock.

Back in 20 October 2005, I made my maiden investment and bought some units of retail and commercial real estate owner Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust (SGX: T82U), which luckily enough, has been a good long-term investment.

My portfolio has come a long way since then. In my decade of investing, I have picked up my fair share of winners and losers. There are learning points to be found in both.

Here’re three key lessons I’ve picked up from my investing journey so far:

Lesson No. 1: The value of simplicity – click here

Lesson No. 2: The power of long-term investing – click here

Lesson No. 3: Find your investing home

In my younger days, kung-fu movies often portrayed the existence of a secret martial arts manual which only a select few had access to. Thankfully, investing doesn’t quite work that way.

In fact, one of my biggest discoveries in my decade of investing was that there isn’t a set way to invest.

This became clear when I picked up a book called “Value Investing with the Masters” by Kirk Kazanjian. In his book, Kazanjian interviewed 20 different mutual fund managers (unit trusts in Singapore would be analogous to mutual funds elsewhere).

Kazanjian had chosen the 20 investing masters based on their outstanding long-term investing performance. These investors were, to quote Kazanjian, “head of their class.”

Below is a summary of how four of the 20 investing masters profiled in the book had invested:

Source: Kirk Kazanjian’s “Value Investing With The Masters”

As you can see, the approaches taken can be very different – even downright contradictory – from one investor to the next. The differences suggest there is no set rules which are carved in stone when it comes to investing. There’s no magic silver bullet. As such, investing is really a journey of discovery for the investing approach which suits yourself.

Fortunately, I managed to find mine years ago: Long-term investing in companies that have the elements to achieve solid long-term business growth.

A Fool’s take

There are many ways to approach investing.

My preference is towards an investing thesis that is as simple as possible and holding for the long-term. My approach also favors growth companies. It’s an investing approach which fits my lifestyle as I do not have to tend to my companies on a daily basis. If the business keeps purring, I can enjoy a good night’s sleep and spend time on other important things in life.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Chin Hui Leong owns shares in Suntec REIT.