How I am investing my time and money to learn about fintech and investing in 2021

We’re halfway through 2021 and I know some of us (I mean me) have not been focusing personal development to grow both our skills and knowledge. Personal development is important because we need to continue upgrading ourselves with new skills and capabilities, whether it’s to further our careers or to be better at our personal interests.

Every year, I would set aside some time and money that goes into personal development expenses. Last year, I dedicated my personal development hours into personal fitness and nutrition which have delivered excellent results both physically and mentally. Given the great results achieved, I’m going to continue and maintain the cadence of consistently exercising and being more mindful of what I eat and drink.

This year, I decided to devote my time and money towards:

  1. Learn and understand more about fintech innovation.
  2. Learn how to identify and analyse stocks to invest in.

The latter is probably a shocker for long term readers because I have been a long-time advocate of investing in a diversified portfolio through robo advisors and automate the entire investing process. In the past year, I’ve slowly warmed up to the idea of keeping 80% of my portfolio in a set of globally diversified ETFs that is able to deliver 6-8% returns year on year while put 20% of my portfolio in a carefully curated list of stocks that could deliver 2x-10x growth over a number of years.

While I have dipped my toes in the water by investing in 1-2 stocks but I have not started building out this 20% of my portfolio yet because I have yet to find a way to analyse stocks in a systematic manner to identify a curated watchlist of stocks to invest when the price is right. I’m going to solve this problem in 2021.

Let’s take a look at the 3 personal development activities that I have planned for myself in 2021.

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Fintech: Innovation and Transformation in Financial Services by NUS Business School

Probably one of the most expensive courses that I have taken to date, Fintech: Innovation and Transformation in Financial Services is an 8-week online course that explores concepts and apply cutting-edge financial technologies like blockchain and AI to create and extract value for organizations.

The online course is conducted by online education provider Emeritus, in collaboration with NUS Business School. It costs USD 1,600 and requires a commitment of 2-4 hours of my time each week to complete the online classes and assignments.

I’m into my first week of the course and I find the online learning experience rather enjoyable as Emeritus uses the Canvas Learning Management System which is available on browser, Android and iOS devices so I can attend all the training modules on my iPad at my favourite cafe, engage in discussions with fellow students on my Xiaomi mobile phone on the go and complete my assignments on my Macbook at home.

The first module has a lot of bite-sized content and was easy to digest. That’s probably because it more of an introduction to Fintech kind of module. I’m currently working on the first assignment that’s due in 11 days. I imagine the lessons in later modules will be more complex as we focus on specific topics like blockchain.

Investment Quadrant by The Fifth Person

The FIfth Person has been running their Investment Quadrant course for a number of years. Each year, they would open up for registrations for a month before closing it up for the year. That’s because the course is conducted both online through their learning management system and offline through live events. But in the current pandemic, all the live events have transitioned into webinars.

The online course costs $497 and I have already signed up for this year’s enrollment. This is not a sales pitch for you to sign up because the enrollment for Investment Quadrant 2021 has already closed so you can only consider joining next year.

The reason why I chose to sign up for Investment Quadrant was because I like how they have structured the entire stock analysis methodology into 4 main parts:

  1. Business: The business model of a company and how it generates its revenues and profits.
  2. Management: Good management can lead a company to higher revenue, profit and growth.
  3. Financials: Financial performance is one of the key indicators of how successful a company is.
  4. Valuation: Accurately determine a stock’s intrinsic value to know if it’s currently undervalued or overpriced.

For a systematic and data-driven person like myself, I think the methodology and structure of this course would be very suitable for me.

I will have try to share more about what I have learnt in future articles to try to demonstrate how the learnings can be applied to real life investing.

I have already attended the live webinar last weekend and I found it very useful. My next steps will be to aim to commit 2 hours of my time each week complete all the online learning modules. It’s going to take a lot more time some parts can be quite technical and I imagine that I would need to spend more time to digest the information.

Online courses on moomoo app

I’ve mentioned 2 online courses that costs money and I know some of my readers prefer to be more thrifty and learn new things with free content instead.

What I am going to share with you next is a free resource that you will want to check out.

I’ve reviewed about what I like about moomoo powered by FUTU in my last article and I realised that there’s one thing that I forgot to mention.

Apart from offering a competitive brokerage platform, moomoo app also provides a growing library of free micro courses that their users can enjoy on their mobile app.

Simply visit the “Moo” section and tap on the “Courses” section to see all the courses available.

moomoo offers a wide range of micro courses that covers from basic stock investing courses like Stock Basics, Fundament Statement Analysis, Fundamental Analysis, to advanced topics (at least to rookies like me) such as Introduction to Options. They also offer courses on more trendy topics like cryptocurrencies and WallStreetBets.

These are the 3 micro courses that are interesting to me and I intend to complete by this year after I finish my Innovation and Transformation in Financial Services and Investment Quadrant courses. Because of the way these micro courses are structured, I can easily read them on my mobile phone during commutes.

moomoo powered by FUTU is currently offering a sign-up promo that lasts till 2 August 2021 (8pm Singapore time) that includes:

  • A free Apple (AAPL) share (worth about SGD 160) when you deposit SGD 2,700 or USD 2,000 / HKD 16,000, no trades needed to receive the share.
  • 1 free Nio (NIO) share (worth about SGD 60) when you achieve LV 1 trading badge or successfully conduct 5 trades.
  • Commission-free trading for the first 180 days for US ,HK & SG markets
  • Free Level 2 market data for US stocks
  • Free SGX securities Level 1 real-time market data

Don’t forgot to invest in personal development in 2021

I know it doesn’t look like Covid-19 is going away any time soon but that doesn’t mean we should be wasting the year away by staying status quo.

When you choose to stand still while the world is moving forward, you’re actually going backwards.

I hope in my examples above, you can see that there are things you can do to improve yourself both professionally and personally.

If you can afford to fork out a budget for personally development, you can opt for a professional learning and certification. Otherwise, there are always free options out there as long as you take the time to seek them out.

In my future articles, I will try to crystalise what I have learnt through article writing.

What are you investing to better yourself this year? Please share them in the comment section below.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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