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Before You Start Investing, Ask Yourself: Is Time Or Money More Important To You?

Many of us are attracted to the idea of investing because it is could be a way for us to become financially free. We may hope that with hard work and regular saving and investing, we can reach a point where we would no longer need to depend on the salary from our day job to meet our living expenses. We could then have the time and money to pursue what we love and do the things we really want.

However, it’s important to realise that we need to spend a significant amount of time to become a good investor. I have been investing for about a decade now, and I am still learning, reading, researching and discussing about investing every single day.

In fact, I have created a system where I allocate a certain time of the week for researching new companies, reviewing my portfolio, calling up companies to ask questions, and running valuation exercises on my watch list stocks. In a way, investing feels kind of like a job as well. Fortunately for me, I enjoy this type of work very much.

But, for those of you who do not enjoy such work and who did not initially expect the workload involved to properly invest in the stock market, you may be disappointed. Your journey in investing would not feel like an easy ride. You would most likely have less time and less disposable capital while you are investing and working at the same time.

I’m sorry to be the one that breaks the hard truth to you. Before you even start investing, you have to ask yourself: How much time am I willing to give up for this, especially during the first few years of investing?

There is a happy ending though. Things get better with time. You would become more familiar with the companies you are interested in. You would be better at assessing new companies and running valuation models. And the most important part of it is that as you invest, you will find more like-minded friends who can help you along the way. That is when you may find that spending time and money on investing could be something that you enjoy too.

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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 Stanley Lim doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.