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Advice On Beginning Investing

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Dear all

After a very tumultous period of my life I'm getting back into the game. But long years away has made me really rusty and ignorant, my situation means I have very little money to start off with, and I'm hoping for some advice.

1. About eight years ago, I was investing in US stocks through an overseas broker (Ameritrade). Because of personal reasons I had to stop.

I've been thinking about going back to it. Would signing up with an American online broker still be the way to go to invest in US stocks, considering that local branches (even Ameritrade I believe) charge pretty crooked fees per trade (and provided I don't really care about dividend stocks so the tax won't matter)? I can still sign a foreign withholding form and not be charged for capital gains, right?

2. I've been advised by my friends to think locally as in invest in Singapore, since this is where I am. The reason I preferred US stocks is because of the wealth of information I could find easily. So many stocks that are household names and for which I am familiar with the businesses. And most importantly, centrally available information portals to access almost every stock I wanted.

I know nothing about Singapore stocks. Could anyone advise me on where I might begin learning about it? My favoured approach is to learn about the overall economy first (which would also I think help me with deciding on what to do with my STI ETF), then about sectors and their general situations, etc. Could you advise me on information portals I might access this information?

My plan is to have a better understanding of economy --> sectors to consider --> choose individual companies.

Or should I just go back to what I know I can get up to speed quickly on, i.e. US shares?

3. For those who invest in both markets, is there any glaring differences I need to be aware of, considering that my education in stocks comes from US books, websites, etc? E.g. any difference in balance sheet interpretation?

Background info that may help:

My divorce pretty much wiped me out, so I'm starting all over. I have $11k ready cash, can raise another $10-15k in two to three months, and have a couple STI ETF lots. Nothing much, I know, but I would be so grateful for your advice, because the most important thing is to not look back, and get started on action. My risk tolerance is pretty high, but I do want to get my feet wet safely first, since I'm also working on my business which is taking up time and capital.

Best regards and thanks in advance,



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