Mastering the Basics of Investing in Singapore Stock Market, Bond, and ETFs for Savvy Investing

Table of Contents


All articles are for education purposes only, and not to be taken as advice to buy/sell. Please do your own due diligence before committing to any trade or investments.


All articles are for education purposes only, and not to be taken as advice to buy/sell. Please do your own due diligence before committing to any trade or investments.

A weary investor focused on a computer monitor, with a large screen displaying stock charts in the background, encapsulating the intensity of mastering Singapore's financial markets for smart investing.

Table of Contents

Introduction – Master SGX: Your Guide to Investing in Singapore Stock Market

Venturing into Singapore’s diverse financial landscape, with its array of individual stocks, high-yield bonds, and index ETFs, can be daunting, even for experienced investors. Whether you’re looking to invest in a bond index fund or seeking the expertise of a fund manager, Singapore offers a multitude of opportunities.

This guide aims to demystify the intricacies of investing in Singapore, offering you step-by-step instructions to master the basics. Are you ready to unleash your investment potential? Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • Singapore offers various investment options, including stocks, bonds, and ETFs.
  • Stocks allow you to own part of a company and make money from blue-chip stocks over time.
  • Bonds are a safe way to invest in the government or Asian companies.
  • ETFs are like baskets of stocks or bonds that allow you to invest in many firms at once.
  • When investing in Singapore stock market, choose a suitable platform, understand your goals, build a watchlist, and follow expert tips.
  • Investing in bonds requires understanding their types (government bonds, corporate bonds), how to invest (researching and opening an account), and the risks/rewards involved.

Risks associated with bond investing include interest rate risk and default risk, while rewards include regular income and diversification benefits.

Close-up of a desk with various investment documents and a card labeled 'Government Bonds,' illustrating the diverse range of investment options available in Singapore.

Types of Investments in Singapore

Singapore offers a variety of investment options, including stocks, bonds, and ETFs.


In Singapore, stocks give you the opportunity to acquire a stake in a company. These shares are issued by businesses as a way to generate capital, and by purchasing them, you essentially become a part-owner of the company. Major companies, often included in the Straits Times Index (STI) on the SGX, frequently offer these shares for sale.

The STI monitors the performance of 30 prominent Singapore-based companies that issue what are known as blue-chip stocks. Over time, these blue-chip stocks can provide attractive returns. One of the benefits is that you have the flexibility to buy and sell these stocks directly, bypassing the need for a broker.

When you opt to buy a lot, you’re actually purchasing a bundle of shares, rather than a single share, offering a more substantial investment in high-yield bonds or ETFs.


Bonds can be a lucrative investment option, and there are various types available in Singapore, including high yield bonds and bonds issued by the Government of Singapore. Investors often diversify their portfolio with bond funds and ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds), which may include a blend of corporate bonds from Asian companies and Singapore government bonds.

If you’re interested in exchange-traded funds, some of the best ETFs are those that track the Singapore Government Bond Index and include a mix of bonds for diversity. These ETFs can typically be purchased in lots of 100 units.

For those looking to prioritize safety, the Singapore Savings Bonds offer a secure option backed by the government of Singapore. Investing in these or more government bonds is a straightforward and safe strategy suitable for traders and investors of all sizes. So whether your fund may be large or small, there’s a suitable bond investment for you.


ETFs serve as diversified baskets containing various assets like stocks, bonds, or commodities, and they trade on the stock market just like individual stocks. Index ETFs, for instance, aim to replicate the performance of a specific index, such as the Straits Times Index in Singapore, which monitors the activity of 30 leading companies listed on the SGX. Investment-grade corporate bond ETFs and general bond ETFs both deliver comparable advantages, allowing investors to diversify their holdings by gaining access to an assortment of bonds through just one investment vehicle.

Investing in ETFs allows you to tap into the success of top-performing firms or bonds all at once, eliminating the need to purchase each company’s stock or bond individually. This makes the ETF investment process both efficient and convenient!

Stock chart overlaying a view of Singapore's business district, illustrating the guide's focus on navigating the Singapore stock market for investors.


Investing in Stocks in Singapore

Choose a suitable investment platform and understand your investment objectives before diving into stock investing in Singapore. Build a watchlist and follow tips for successful stock investing to maximize your potential returns.

Understanding investment objectives

To be a savvy investor, it’s crucial to clearly define your investment objectives. This entails understanding what you aim to accomplish with your investments and evaluating the level of risk you’re comfortable with. Common investment objectives can include growth, income, and capital preservation.

If you’re seeking long-term financial gains, you might consider growth stocks or index ETFs that emulate a specific index. Those aiming for a steady income might want to look into dividend-paying stocks or bond index ETFs. If your focus is on safeguarding your initial investment, bonds issued by the Singapore government or other low-risk options could be a fitting choice.

Before making any investment decision, consider whether the investment aligns with your financial goals and risk tolerance. Keep in mind that the type of ETF may also impact its risk and return profiles.

Building a watchlist

To successfully invest in stocks in Singapore, it is important to build a watchlist. Here are some steps to help you create a watchlist:

  1. Research: Start by researching different companies listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX). Look for companies that align with your investment goals and have strong fundamentals.
  2. Track Performance: Keep track of the performance of companies you are interested in. Look at factors like revenue growth, earnings, and market trends.
  3. Set Criteria: Define specific criteria for selecting stocks based on your investment strategy. This could include factors such as industry sector, market capitalization, or dividend yield.
  4. Monitor News and Events: Stay updated with news and events that may impact the companies you are following. This could include earnings announcements, regulatory changes, or industry developments.
  5. Use Tools and Resources: Utilize online platforms and tools provided by the SGX or other financial institutions to streamline your research process and monitor stocks on your watchlist.

Tips for successful stock investing

Here are some tips for successful stock investing in Singapore:

  1. Set clear investment goals: Determine your financial objectives and time horizon for investing in stocks.
  2. Research and choose quality companies: Look for companies with strong fundamentals, stable earnings, and a competitive edge in their industry.
  3. Diversify your portfolio: Spread your investments across different sectors or industries to reduce risk.
  4. Stay updated on market trends and news: Keep track of the latest developments that may impact your investments.
  5. Understand risk tolerance: Assess how much risk you can handle and invest accordingly.
  6. Avoid emotional decisions: Don’t let fear or greed drive your investment decisions; stick to your strategy.
  7. Dollar-cost averaging: Invest a fixed amount regularly rather than trying to time the market, which can help mitigate the impact of market volatility.
  8. Rebalance your portfolio periodically: Adjust your investments based on changes in market conditions or your investment goals.
  9. Monitor your investments: Regularly review the performance of your stocks and make necessary adjustments if needed.

Consider seeking professional advice: If you’re unsure about investing or need guidance, consult a financial advisor who specializes in stock investments.

Close-up of a bond certificate, highlighting the essentials of bond investing as a diversification strategy in Singapore's financial markets.

Investing in Bonds in Singapore

Navigating the bond market in Singapore means comprehending various types of bonds that are traded, understanding how to become a bond investor, and evaluating the risks and rewards inherent in SGD investment-grade corporate bond investing.

Different types of bonds

  • Government bonds: These bonds are issued by the government and are considered to be low-risk investments because they are backed by the government’s creditworthiness.
  • Corporate bonds: These bonds are issued by corporations as a way to raise capital. They offer higher yields compared to government bonds but also come with higher risks.
  • Convertible bonds: These bonds give investors the option to convert their bond holdings into shares of the issuing company’s stock. This can provide potential upside for investors if the company’s stock price increases.
  • Municipal bonds: These bonds are issued by local governments or municipalities to finance public projects. They are often exempt from federal income taxes and can provide steady income for investors.
  • High-yield bonds: Also known as junk bonds, these are issued by companies with lower credit ratings. They offer higher yields but also carry higher default risk.
  • Mortgage-backed securities: These bonds are backed by pools of mortgage loans and offer exposure to the real estate market. Their performance is tied to the performance of the underlying mortgages.
  • Zero-coupon bonds: These bonds do not pay regular interest payments but instead provide a lump sum payment at maturity. These are generally offered at a price lower than their nominal value.

It is important for traders and investors to understand the characteristics and risks associated with each type of bond before making investment decisions.

How to invest in bonds

To invest in bonds in Singapore, follow these steps:

  1. Research different types of bonds available, such as Singapore Savings Bonds and retail bonds.
  2. Assess your risk tolerance and investment objectives to determine the type of bond that suits you.
  3. Consider investing in bond funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for a diversified portfolio of bonds.
  4. Decide on the amount you want to invest and set a budget.
  5. Open an investment account with a brokerage or financial institution that offers bond investments.
  6. Complete the necessary paperwork and provide any required documentation.
  7. Once your account is set up, review the available bond options and select the ones that align with your investment goals.
  8. Place an order to buy the bonds through your chosen platform, specifying the quantity and price you’re willing to pay.
  9. Monitor your bond investments regularly and stay updated on market conditions that may affect their performance.
  10. If needed, consult with a financial advisor for guidance on bond investing strategies.

Risks and rewards of bond investing

Investing in bonds carries both risks and rewards that investors must understand before venturing into this segment of the investment market. One of the key advantages of bonds is the potential for a consistent income stream through regular interest payments. However, investors need to be aware of various risks such as interest rate risk, reinvestment risk, call risk, default risk, and inflation risk. Below is a summary table of the risks and rewards associated with bond investing.

Risks of Bond Investing Rewards of Bond Investing
Interest Rate Risk: As interest rates rise, bond prices typically fall. Regular Income: Bonds provide a steady stream of income through regular interest payments.
Reinvestment Risk: The risk that future cash flows will have to be reinvested at a potentially lower rate of return. Lower Risk Investment: Bondholders are paid before shareholders in the event of bankruptcy.
Call Risk: The risk that a bond will be called by its issuer before its maturity date. Diversification: Bonds can be an ideal tool for diversification in an investment portfolio.
Default Risk: The risk that the bond issuer will not be able to pay the bond’s face value or interest payments as it comes due. Capital Preservation: Bonds are generally considered safer than stocks, making them a good choice for capital preservation.
Inflation Risk: The risk that the future purchasing power of cash flows from a bond will decline due to inflation. Fixed Income: Bonds are a type of fixed-income investment, providing consistent returns over time.

In conclusion, while bonds can provide steady income and are considered relatively safer than stocks, they are not without risks. Quantitative traders can take calculated risks with proprietary capital in the bond market. Before investing, it’s crucial to understand the bond’s duration, credit rating, and yield.

An individual pointing at the word Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) displayed on a glass window, emphasizing the importance of understanding ETFs in Singapore's investment landscape.

Investing in ETFs in Singapore

Investing in ETFs in Singapore offers a range of benefits, including diversification, liquidity, and lower costs compared to traditional mutual funds.

What is an ETF

An ETF, also known as an Exchange-Traded Fund, is a type of investment fund that is available for trading on a stock exchange and typically aims to track an index like Singapore’s Straits Times Index. This kind of index ETF offers investors a broad spectrum of investment opportunities, covering various asset classes like stocks, bonds, and commodities.

Investing in ETFs may provide a diversified portfolio by spreading your capital across multiple assets, thereby mitigating risk. They are a convenient investment vehicle for both novice and seasoned investors due to their ease of trading, similar to individual stocks, and generally lower expense ratios compared to traditional mutual funds.

Important things to remember:

  1. An ETF is an investment fund that’s traded on the stock exchange and is available to investors who want to track an index.
  2. ETFs may offer diversified exposure to a collection of securities, reducing potential risk.
  3. Both beginner and experienced investors can find ETFs to be a suitable investment choice because of their ease of trade and cost-effectiveness.

Popular ETFs in Singapore

  • The STI ETF is one of the most popular ETFs in Singapore.
  • ES3 is another widely – traded ETF in Singapore.
  • The STI ETF and ES3 allow investors to track the performance of Singapore’s top companies.

Benefits of investing in ETFs

Investing in ETFs can offer several advantages for traders and investors. Here are some benefits:

  1. Low-risk investment: ETFs are generally considered low-risk investments. as they provide exposure to a diversified portfolio of assets.
  2. Diversification: ETFs offer diversification by holding a basket of securities from different industries or asset classes. This helps spread the risk and reduce the impact of any single investment performing poorly.
  3. Liquidity: ETFs can be traded on a stock exchange. Similar to stocks. This means that investors can easily buy or sell their shares at market prices throughout the trading day.
  4. Cost-effective: ETFs often have lower expense ratios compared to actively managed mutual funds. This makes them a cost-effective option for investors looking to minimize fees and expenses.
  5. Transparency: ETFs disclose their holdings on a daily basis. allowing investors to know exactly what assets they are invested in. This transparency helps investors make informed decisions about their portfolios.
  6. Flexibility: ETFs provide flexibility in terms of investing in specific sectors, countries, or themes. Investors can choose from a wide range of ETF options that align with their investment goals and strategies.

Dividends and capital gains: Some ETFs distribute dividends and capital gains to investors. Providing potential income streams in addition to potential capital appreciation.

Investment coach pointing at a stock chart on a whiteboard, teaching a young investor about the features of top investment platforms in Singapore.

Essential Characteristics of Investment Platforms

Investment platforms in Singapore provide a comprehensive suite of features designed to elevate your investment journey. These range from intuitive online brokerages to regular savings plans, each offering unique advantages.

Explore how leveraging these robust tools can significantly enrich your overall investment experience.

Online brokerages

Online brokerages provide a convenient and efficient platform for traders or investors to access financial markets. They have revolutionized the investment sector with their user-friendly platforms, low fees, and a wide variety of investment options.

Here is an overview of some of the top online brokerages in Singapore.

Broker Description
Saxo Markets Recognized as the best overall brokerage platform in Singapore. Offers the best online trading platform for US stocks and ETFs.
Moomoo Provides the cheapest online trading in Singapore.
Interactive Brokers Known for its advanced trading features and extensive suite of trading tools. Allows trading with US stocks, ETFs, and options trades in US markets.
Tiger Brokers A popular choice for investors with its low fees, comprehensive trading tools, and access to a broad range of markets including US markets.

To start investing with these platforms, a brokerage account is necessary. These online brokers provide both traditional broker-assisted services and online trading platforms, meeting various investment needs. It’s worth noting that prop trading firms in Singapore also recruit traders from universities or other firms based on performance.

Regular savings plans

Regular savings plans are a simple and convenient way to invest in stocks, bonds, and ETFs in Singapore. They are offered by various investment platforms such as banks and brokerages.

With regular savings plans, you can set aside a fixed amount of money every month to invest in these assets. One of the benefits of regular savings plans is that they allow you to benefit from dollar-cost averaging.

This means that you buy more shares when prices are low and fewer shares when prices are high, which can help reduce the impact of market volatility on your investments. Regular savings plans also allow you to diversify your investment portfolio by spreading your investments across different assets over time.

Other investment tools

Some other investment tools available in Singapore include:

  1. CPF Investment Scheme: This scheme allows Singaporeans to invest their Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings in various approved investments, including stocks, bonds, unit trusts, and ETFs.
  2. Regular Savings Plans (RSP): RSPs are a convenient way to invest regularly in selected funds or ETFs. Investors can contribute a fixed amount each month and benefit from dollar-cost averaging.
  3. Robo-advisors: Robo-advisors are online platforms that use algorithms to create and manage investment portfolios based on an individual’s risk tolerance and investment goals. They provide a low-cost and passive approach to investing.

Financial news websites and apps: Keeping up with the latest market news and trends is crucial for successful investing. Websites like The Straits Times Business section or mobile apps like Yahoo Finance provide real-time updates on stock prices, economic indicators, and market analysis.

A distressed woman covering her face in her home office, with a computer displaying a stock chart on the desk, illustrating the emotional toll of investment mistakes.

Mistakes to Avoid in Investing

Investors should be mindful of common mistakes and take steps to minimize risks in their investment strategies.

Common mistakes to watch out for

Investors should be aware of common mistakes that can hinder their success. These mistakes include:

  1. Not understanding the investment: It is important to thoroughly research and understand any investment before committing your money.
  2. Falling in love with a company: While it’s good to believe in the companies you invest in, sentimentality can cloud judgment. Make sure to assess a company’s financials and performance objectively.
  3. Lack of patience: Successful investing requires patience and a long-term perspective. Steer clear of rash choices influenced by brief market swings.
  4. Too much investment turnover: Frequent buying and selling of investments can lead to unnecessary fees and taxes. It’s important to have a well-thought-out strategy and stick to it.
  5. Attempting to time the market: Trying to predict market movements is extremely difficult, even for professionals. Instead, focus on a diversified portfolio tailored to your investment goals.

Tips for minimizing risk

Here are some tips to help you minimize risk when investing:

  1. Understand your risk tolerance: Before investing, determine how much risk you are comfortable taking and choose investments that align with your risk appetite.
  2. Diversify your portfolio: Spread out your investments across different asset classes, industries, and geographical regions. This helps reduce the impact of any one investment performing poorly.
  3. Do thorough research: Take the time to research and understand the investments you are considering. Look at their historical performance, financial health, and management team.
  4. Set clear investment goals: Define your investment goals and create a plan to achieve them. This will help you stay focused and avoid impulsive decisions based on short-term market fluctuations.
  5. Stay informed: Regularly monitor the performance of your investments and stay updated on market trends. This will enable you to make informed decisions and adjust your portfolio if needed.
  6. Avoid timing the market: Trying to predict short-term market movements is extremely difficult and can lead to costly mistakes. Instead, focus on long-term investing strategies that align with your goals.
  7. Consider professional advice: If you’re unsure about investing or need assistance, consider consulting with a financial advisor who can provide expert guidance tailored to your needs.

Conclusion: Getting Started with Investing in Singapore

Embark on your journey to savvy investing in Singapore’s stock, bond, and ETF markets with assurance! Familiarize yourself with various types of investments, including single bonds and bond ETFs, which are subject to investment risks regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Select platforms that align with your investment objectives and make use of the diverse array of tools available. Create a watchlist of promising stocks, gain insights into the risks and rewards associated with bonds, and discover the advantages of fund availability in the ETF sector.

Mitigate common pitfalls by minimizing risks through well-informed strategies and heeding expert advice. Take the first step towards becoming a confident investor today!

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Bryan Ang

Bryan Ang is a financial expert with a passion for investing and trading. He is an avid reader and researcher who has built an impressive library of books and articles on the subject.

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