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1st Singapore Investment Week 2012: Interview with Mr David Gerald, President and CEO, SIAS

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As part of its commitment to bring investor education to the general public, the Securities Investors Association Singapore (SIAS) is holding the inaugural Singapore Investment Week which will run between August 25 and 31.

Open to both SIAS members and public, the week-long campaign will include a series of investment seminars, online videos and radio programmes, featuring topics ranging from the basics of money management to investing in stocks and shares.

Biz Daily, the official online media partner of the event, sits with Mr David Gerald, president and CEO of SIAS, to talk about the inaugural Singapore Investment Week 2012 and how to further raise the level of awareness on the importance of investing.

What’s the inspiration behind the very first Singapore Investment Week?

The inaugural “Investment Week Campaign” seeks to instill the importance of investing amongst Singaporeans to help them make informed investment decisions.

Since 1999, SIAS have always been advocating for greater investment literacy and we realised that though Singapore have had many national public education campaigns before, there has not been one that is truly focused on investment literacy. Hence, we felt the need to come up with this campaign to raise awareness on the whys and hows of investing.

The rising inflation rate is affecting real dollar value and Singaporeans need to understand that they cannot rely solely on their monthly payroll to grow their wealth nor can they simply leave the savings in the bank.

In addition, through the investor education activities that we have organised over the years, we have noticed that there are increasing participation and interest from individuals wanting to learn about investing and thus this campaign is a timely call.

What do you hope to achieve with this?

We aim to raise the awareness of the importance of investing to secure one’s financial future and help Singaporeans grow their money, get Singaporeans to understand key investment principle and also understand the risks of investing in various instruments.

“Investing for a Secure Future” is the theme for this year. Tell us more about it.

All of us have our dream future. For the young ones, perhaps a future where they can worry-free about planning their marriage or getting their first home and for the older ones, perhaps a golden retirement where they are free to do what they like and not worry about having not enough money for retirement. Therefore, the theme is to encourage people to think about their future and to plan for it now.

For participants, what are the things they can look forward to in this event?

From 25th – 31st August 2012, participants will be able to acquire investment knowledge, get updated on the latest market trends and be educated on key investing principles and strategies. Investors can also learn how to avoid losses and build a sound investment portfolio.

The response has been overwhelming coming from your sponsors. What do they hope to accomplish by participating in this event?

We are indeed pleased with the support from these industry players such Singapore Exchange, CapitaLand Ltd, CIMB Securities, Standard Chartered Bank, UOB Kay Hian, World Gold Council, State Street Global Advisors and Dolphin Capital as they too play an important role in raising the investment literacy of our people. Our sponsors share the same objective with SIAS and that is to push for greater awareness and interest in investment education. By participating in this event, they can lend their expertise and share their knowledge and experience with the participants.

With still unstable markets and uncertainties in some parts of the world, what advise will you give to a young investor hoping to retire well?

Knowledge is power. Start early in your life to learn about investments. Your experience will build up your knowledge and guide you along your investment journey. By starting young, you are already a step ahead of others in planning for your golden retirement!