Investing in stocks has been a long-time passion for Mr Terence Wong, head of research at DMG & Partners Research.

He started observing how his family members were investing their money in the stock market when he was a teenager.

"I've always liked investing in stocks because they are more liquid and offer higher returns than fixed deposits," says Mr Wong, 37, who assumed his position in 2007. He was previously chief executive of SIAS Research.

"I also make it a point not to buy education endowment plans because a long-term portfolio in equities can yield better returns," adds the father of two young girls - Aurora, three, and Evabelle, who is 11 months old.

Mr Wong prefers small- and mid-cap stocks to blue chips, which are often touted as more stable.

"Because of my job, I have access to the management of these firms or funds - and knowing that they are trustworthy and credible people gives me that extra comfort in investing in small- and mid- caps," he says.

He lives with his homemaker wife Mindy Fang, 31, and children in a four-bedder unit at the Caribbean at Keppel Bay.

While Mr Wong has a comfortable lifestyle, he believes it is important to give back to society, even if it is in a small way.

"I was inspired by Mr Ee Peng Liang, Singapore's 'Father of Charity'," says Mr Wong, who used to volunteer at the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre and Singapore Children's Society. His family actively supports Apex Club.

Since becoming a father, Mr Wong has had to cut down on his charity work but continues to help out in small ways by distributing food to the elderly and buying masks for the underprivileged during the recent haze.


Q: Are you a spender or a saver?

I'm more liberal with my spending as the years go by. But in the last 15 years, I saved about 35 per cent of my annual income.

I don't spend much on myself but am generous when it comes to my loved ones, be it gifts for my wife or educational classes for my daughter, family holidays as well as get-togethers or parties for my friends. But I make it a point to donate money to charity too.


Q: How much do you charge to your credit cards every month?

On average, I charge about 30 per cent to 40 per cent of my total spending across three credit cards. But as a creature of habit, I tend to charge most of my bills to one card out of convenience.


Q: What financial planning have you done for yourself?

I've bought health and life insurance policies for myself and my family.

But the bulk of my investments is in stocks. I've a preference for both small- and mid-caps and I believe that if you invest in them wisely, you'll get a good return.

Even during financial crises, you can invest in good-quality small- and mid-caps that have a good financial track record, sound growth fundamentals as well as a trustworthy and credible management team.

I'm also not a believer in diversification of one's portfolio and prefer a concentrated one. Although there is a danger that the returns may fall drastically if one stock 'dies', if you pick your stocks carefully, that risk can be mitigated.


Q: Moneywise, what were your growing up years like?

Although I grew up in a comfortable environment, I was a low-maintenance sort of person. I'd spend my spare allowance on Transformers' figurines and newspapers which offer a good coverage of the National Basketball Association games in the United States.

In primary school, I used to take my pocket money out of a coin box. Despite having access to it, I'd only take what I needed. It wasn't until I was 16 and went to Canada to further my studies that I learnt how to plan my spending with the education money that my parents gave me.


Q: How did you get interested in investing?

When I was 12, I witnessed the market tumble in 1987, and that was a real eye-opener for me and got me intrigued. I was also influenced by my parents and relatives who dabbled in the stock market.

At 17, I used about $20,000 from my savings to buy into PruLink - a Singapore-managed fund which largely tracks the blue chips on the Straits Times Index. That's when I also realised, maybe I could just invest on my own without going through a middleman who'd earn a commission from my earnings.

And before I knew it, I became an investment analyst in December 1999.


Q: What property do you own?

My wife and I own two units at Caribbean at Keppel Bay. We first bought a three-bedder unit in 2006 for a really good deal. Its value has more than doubled since. We then got a four-bedder unit in 2010 to accommodate our larger family and that cost us about $2.8 million.

We have been renting out the three-bedder unit.


Q: What's the most extravagant thing you have bought?

The antique Changsha bowls from the Tang Dynasty which are over 1,000 years old. They are significant archaeological finds that proved the existence of trade relations between China and the Middle East.


Q: What's your retirement plan?

I used to think of running a brick-and-mortar charitable organisation when I retire. But I will probably continue investing as well as doing my charity work.

I've really enjoyed my work over the last 14 years and wouldn't mind being paid to have fun!


Q: Home is now...

A 1,668 sq ft four-bedroom condo unit at Caribbean at Keppel Bay.


Q: I drive...

A silver BMW X5, which is big enough to take seven passengers, including two booster seats for my girls.