Mr Magnus Bocker, the Singapore Exchange's chief executive, said some books change our way of looking at the world.

"Small Change: Investment Made Simple by Goh Eng Yeow is one of them," he said.

The book is a compilation of the keenly read Small Change columns which veteran financial journalist Mr Goh pens for this newspaper every fortnight.

In its 30 chapters, the book lays out the investment philosophy that Mr Goh has developed over the years.

It covers topics offering investors an investment strategy for all seasons, counsels them not to let emotions cloud their judgment, and gives advice on how to get their "sell" decisions right.

Mr Bocker said: "For many who are seeking ideas and strategies to grow your retirement nest, Small Change will reveal a thing or two to guide you along the way."

Below are excerpts which offer readers a flavour of the book.

What is wealth without health?

For many of us, it is customary to make New Year's resolutions pledging to change our lives for the better, only to let them lapse after a few missteps.

This is one reason I gave up making New Year's resolutions years ago - because the promise to keep them was forgotten the minute they were made.

But then I had a change of heart and resolved to set some goals for myself that went beyond taking care of my finances, after having to cope with the strain of looking after my mum who was hospitalised a few times.

A lot of people fail to realise that health is the most important asset to possess.

No matter how good you may be at work, or at investing, it will not amount to very much if your health fails.

One good example is my 104-year-old aunt in Hong Kong. At the start of 2012, it was my good fortune to be reunited with her after not having seen her for many years.

Even though her movements had slowed down with age, she was mentally agile and in excellent health.

It enabled her to stretch her modest pension and live comfortably in a nursing home, without getting bankrupt from a host of health problems.

The key to her good health was living a simple and frugal life, staying active, and working well into her 80s at various jobs.

So as we rush about our work, chasing after the next promotion or business deal, it may do us good to pause and ask if we are doing enough to take care of ourselves first.

Remember, even with the millions you may have made from your investments or your career, time is infinitely more precious than money. When you find yourself running out of time, you would sacrifice almost anything to get more.

Life is so unpredictable that it is best to start doing the things you have always wanted to do before it is too late.

So, as the year starts, work towards your goal - whether it is to retire early, or get the job you have always dreamt about - while you still can.

Don't get obsessed with money

Having worked around the financial markets for decades, I can say that getting obsessed with money may, ironically, not be the best way to make it.

I know many traders who spend all their time trying to achieve a certain return from the stock market every year.

Yet for all their efforts, they are not conspicuously richer than the rest of us.

Even those who achieve their objective may not be any happier. I know of one top trader who surrounds himself with unseen bodyguards for fear of getting mugged or kidnapped. That is surely not the way anyone wants to live his life.

Those of us who have savoured the sweetness and bitterness of life will appreciate the salient observation made by US central banker Ben Bernanke that money is a means and not an end in itself.

Let me offer an example.

My best-ever investment was a small donation made to Temasek Junior College (TJC) where I had been a member of the school advisory committee for many years.

Some years back, the Securities Investors Association of Singapore gave me a prize for financial journalism and kindly allowed it to be monetised.

I persuaded TJC's then principal, Mrs Loke-Yeo Teck Yong, to use the money to establish an award to be given to a student each year for outstanding community work.

I left the committee after that, and I thought that was the end of the story. But then a Reuters reporter e-mailed me: "Are you the Goh Eng Yeow in the TJC Goh Eng Yeow Trophy for Community Outreach, which is given yearly to a student for outstanding community service at TJC?"

It turned out that Mrs Loke had named the award after me and in one year, it was given to a student named Kwek Jian Qiang who had been flamed online for purportedly having an elitist mindset.

Jian Qiang was taken aback by the vitriolic attacks and quickly recanted. But far from getting badly scarred by the experience, he was able to match deeds to words and show that he was a much better man than what he had been made out to be.

He became actively involved in community work, immersing himself in projects such as helping the underprivileged in TJC's Bedok neighbourhood.

And his college recognised his efforts by giving him the award that bore my name.

In stock market terms, my small donation has turned into a priceless investment that reaps a bountiful dividend year after year. When I started out on my journey as a financial writer, I had not expected seemingly small decisions and actions to have such a dramatic impact. It has been a truly amazing and humbling experience.

So do not get obsessed with money. Learn to use it wisely.

Buy and hold and make good money

Visit any bookshop and you will find shelves crammed full of tomes offering tips on how to get rich by adopting the strategies of investment gurus like Warren Buffett.

Yet it is not so easy to deploy their strategies, otherwise we would all have become millionaires ourselves.

In fact, believe it or not, holding a steady job with a regular income may be the best ticket to acquiring some form of wealth for most of us.

Let me explain.

While it is almost impossible for most of us to aspire to the same riches as someone like banker Wee Cho Yaw, there are a few people in our midst who have become millionaires simply by holding down a job and enjoying what they do for a living.

They offer better inspiration on how to achieve your investment objectives than desperately trying to emulate Mr Buffett without any realistic hope of achieving the same type of success.

One good example would be my old friend, Mrs Sim Sing Sow, who taught chemistry for almost 40 years before retiring more than a decade ago.

Now in her 70s, Mrs Sim has quietly become a millionaire, thanks to the properties she and her husband bought some decades back.

Nothing unusual in that, given the rapid growth trajectory enjoyed by the residential property market in the past 50 years as Singapore transformed itself into a major financial centre.

But what is worth noting is that she and her husband did not deliberately set out to invest in property. Rather, they had bought them out of necessity, holding them through the decades despite the ups and downs in the market.

They bought a house in the East Coast in the 1960s so they could live near the school where she was teaching.

And when her mother-in-law joined her in Singapore a few years later, they bought another house down the road to accommodate her. Both properties are now worth millions.

When I relate Mrs Sim's story to my friends, some dismiss it as a lucky break from a bygone era unlikely to recur in their lifetimes.

But there may still be credence in the "buy and hold" approach adopted by Mrs Sim, which requires an investor to lock up an investment for years - or even decades - while waiting for it to bear fruit.

That rule applies not just to the property market but to the stock market as well. What we should do is to put our money in assets that we are comfortable with, while enjoying what we are doing. Think of it as the Mrs Sim strategy.