Blog Post: A Fresh Graduate's Guide to Saving Money

21 Oct 2023
10 Mins Read

If You're Green, Go Blue

How do I start investing? Which stock should I buy? Answering the most common investment questions.


For most people, the term “investment” tends to refer quite specifically to stocks (or some others, crypto), which invariably invites the question: “what should I invest in?”

From the bigger names like Apple, and Meta, to the notoriously speculative stocks like GameStop and Palantir, to the 378109th advertisement from “investment gurus” out there marketing their courses and promising riches, taking the first step to investing is daunting. While the promise of getting a quick buck sounds tempting and dreamy, the result is often a rollercoaster of emotions.

It’s important to remember that investing is not the same as speculating. Investing is about pursuing the highest return at the lowest risk, based on fundamentals and analysis. Speculation, on the other hand, is about pursuing high-risk investments that often feel like gambling.

A smart investor doesn't think of their cash and investments as separate; they think of them as part of their overall portfolio of assets. First-time investors can start building their portfolio by focusing on stocks that can create a strong foundation. This means prioritizing companies with size, stability, strong brand names, and resilient business models. These companies are commonly known as blue chips.

Singapore has great names too

Fortunately, investors need not look too far beyond our shores to find reasonably sound blue chip investment opportunities. Singapore’s blue chip benchmark - the Straits Times Index (STI) – is a useful starting point. The index is comprised of 30 Singapore blue chip companies including several historic brand names such as Singapore Airlines and Singtel, that have been servicing the Singapore market for more than a century.

Singapore Airlines flew its first plane more than 70 years ago on 1 May 1947. Today, they have grew to a whooping 159 aircrafts, flying across 75 international destinations and serving more than 26 million passengers.

Fast forward many years and these companies continued to brave the storms and thrive - a clear testament to the strength of their individual businesses and favourable domestic conditions which have allowed them to operate effectively without much trouble or difficulty.

Indeed, Singapore has consistently topped on the World Bank’s “Ease of doing Business” survey since 2007 and is ranked highly in Asia for corporate governance. Currently, it is also the only country in Asia with the highest sovereign credit rating from all three major credit rating agencies.
Such stability goes a long way in reducing the risk of disruptions to business operations, allowing blue chip names to focus purely on delivering profits and reasonable dividend pay-outs.

What’s the best time to invest?

After selecting your investment, the next thing you’ll find yourself doing is to invest at the best time. Ideally, we would like to “buy low, sell high”, but the reality is, it’s almost impossible to consistently predict prices (or all of us would be traders).

Understanding how the markets responds to macro-environment changes is a far more complex task that requires deep research and strong intuition, and even the smartest analyst makes wrong assessments.

The below statistical observation shows that the longer your investment horizon, the more likely you are to end with a gain, proving that time in the market is more important than timing the market.

So how do we ensure that we don’t “time the market”? It’s an investment style commonly known as dollar-cost averaging (DCA), where you invest regularly at a fixed dollar amount, accumulating more stocks when the prices are low, and less when the prices are high.

In essence, you buy a fixed dollar amount of shares on a regular basis (typically this may be on a monthly basis) regardless of the share price. In this manner, DCA takes advantage of share price movements in the stock market. Over time, as you accumulate more shares when prices are cheaper, you can potentially lower the average purchase price per share.

Reap the benefits of investment discipline

(1) Start small and make investments palatable

DCA is particularly attractive for new investors or those who do not have a large sum of money to invest upfront. It is also a good option for investors who are risk-averse, as it helps to reduce the impact of market volatility.

It offers a simple and affordable way to start accumulating shares and gaining exposure to the stock market, while helping investors to remove the emotional aspect of investing.

We humans are more sensitive to losses than gains, which makes us less likely to invest when stock prices are low and more likely to invest when they are high.

This is where the simple structure of DCA can potentially alleviate such worries. By investing an equal amount of money into shares on a regular basis, you are able to lower the average purchase price per share. This can be comparatively lower than the average share price over the same period of time. Framed in this manner, DCA “protects” you from potential long-term losses, making the idea of investing at least more palatable.

(2) Reframing the idea of losses

Once the decision has been made to invest, typically the next concern is the timing of the investment.

Unpredictable price movements in the stock market tend to generate much anxiety that may affect your decision to invest. The mental “what ifs” start coming to mind and often results in a “wait and see” attitude. With every passing day of indecision, chances are you probably won’t do much of anything. Eventually, the market moves for the better or worse, and the same cycle of doubt and hesitance begins again.

Again, DCA provides a simple way to overcome such emotional hurdles. By gradually investing in the stock market in a disciplined manner, DCA places smaller amounts at risk at a time. In so doing, you can take solace that any sudden drop in stock prices will not cause as huge a loss as if you had your entire lump-sum invested.

(3) Staying focused

While emotions can result in delayed actions, it can also lead to drastic moves as well. This is especially observed during a declining market when share prices are decreasing. Typically, we tend to be overly pessimistic during these periods and find it difficult to stay invested, believing that the recent decrease in prices will persist.

However, DCA prevents such knee-jerk reactions and stops you from completely terminating your investment plan. This keeps you invested in the market so that you can benefit from the market recovery later on.

Beautiful in its simplicity

The simplicity of the DCA structure helps the average investor overcome these behavioural tendencies which would have otherwise kept them from investing. It offers an affordable, sustainable, and comfortable way for new investors to ease into the stock market without incurring the anxiety that comes with having too much invested in the virtual unknown in a short period of time. It is thus the more practical choice among new investors and investors who may not have the time to actively monitor the performance of the stock market.

With just S$100 a month, OCBC’s Blue Chip Investment Plan (BCIP) allows you to gain exposure to Singapore-listed blue chip shares and exchange traded funds (ETFs), renowned for their robust reputation and consistent growth! It utilises a DCA approach with no lock-ins while having full control via the OCBC Digital app.


Available on Apple App Store, Google Play and Huawei App Gallery.

Via Mobile Banking

For existing OCBC Mobile Banking customers only.

To get started:

  1. Log in to your OCBC Mobile Banking app

  2. Select the "Invest" tab

  3. Click on the "Blue Chip Investment Plan"

Via Online Banking

For existing OCBC Online Banking customers only.

To get started:

  1. Log in to your OCBC Online Banking account
  2. Select the “Investment & Insurance” tab
  3. Click on the “Blue Chip Investment Plan” link


This is for general information and does not take into account your particular investment and protection aims, financial situation or needs. You may wish to seek advice from a financial adviser before making a commitment to purchase an investment product. In the event that you choose not to seek advice from a financial adviser, you should consider whether the investment in question is suitable for you.
This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Graphs, charts, formulae and other devices

Investors should note that there are necessarily limitations and difficulties in using any graph, chart, formula or other device to determine whether or not, or if so, when to, make an investment.


  1. Any opinions or views of third parties expressed in this document are those of the third parties identified, and do not represent views of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (“OCBC Bank”, “us”, “we” or “our”).
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  3. Before you make an investment, please seek advice from your Relationship Manager regarding the suitability of any investment product taking into account your specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs.
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Collective Investment Schemes

  1. A copy of the prospectus of each fund is available and may be obtained from the fund manager or any of its approved distributors. Potential investors should read the prospectus for details on the relevant fund before deciding whether to subscribe for, or purchase units in the fund.
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Global Equities disclaimer

  1. Dividend growth is not guaranteed, nor are companies in which you invest obliged to pay dividends;
  2. Companies may go bankrupt rendering the original investment valueless;
  3. Equity markets may decline in value;
  4. Corporate earnings and financial markets may be volatile;
  5. If there is no recognised market for equities, then these may be difficult to sell and accurate information about their value may be hard to obtain;
  6. Smaller company investments may be difficult to sell if there is little liquidity in the market for such equities and there may be substantial differences between the buying price and the selling price;
  7. Equities on overseas markets may involve different risks to equities issued in Singapore;
  8. With regards to investments in overseas companies, foreign exchange rates may move in an unfavourable direction affecting adversely the valuation of investments in base currency terms.