SINGAPORE: A 23-year-old man who saves S$1,200 monthly asked the Singaporean Reddit community whether to invest it or pursue a degree.

Detailing his professional background, he revealed that he holds a diploma and works in a specialized niche within the construction industry, focusing on CAD/BIM (Computer-Aided Design/Building Information Modeling). His take-home pay is also around S$2,800.

“I save up 1.2k/month and I’ve actually reached my desired EF (Emergency Fund), which is 8k,” he said. 

“A lot of people here advise me to start investing once EF is secured, which I am planning to do BUT a part of me wants to upskill, like getting a specialist diploma or degree.”

He also questioned whether allocating S$1,200 per month for investments would be adequate if he were to start investing immediately. 

As he outlined, his strategy involved investing S$1,200 per month in index funds and withdrawing it once he decided to pursue a degree, hoping to gain some gains along the way.

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“I don’t feel like rushing retirement early, BUT I do want to secure above-median salary in a good company. 

I will be planning to get some big purchases in the following years, like motor license, new PC, and a new phone. Would it be wise to delay that for now?”

“Investing in your own career is the best investment one can make.”

In the comments section, the Redditors told the man that he should not invest in the market or purchase investment plans from insurance companies if he needs the money to study soon.

This is because the market is volatile and more suitable for long-term goals. They cited how rapidly it could change, like during the pandemic or the market crash in 2022. 

Instead, they recommended exploring safer alternatives for short-term financial goals such as Fixed Deposits (FDs), Treasury bills (T-bills), or Singapore Savings Bonds (SSBs) were mentioned as more stable choices. 

According to them, these options may not offer high returns quickly, but they provide a secure and accessible source of funds without the risks associated with market fluctuations.

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On the other hand, others expressed that education can open doors to better financial opportunities and suggested that he focus on investing in himself first and pursuing that degree.

They pointed out that with a higher income in the future, he’d have more to invest. 

One Redditor said, “Investing in your own career is the best investment one can make almost always. Your retirement corpus will depend more on how much you save each month vs how much return you can make. 

The only way to invest more is to earn more. Time is in your side, upskill first.”

Another Redditor also suggested an alternative approach: to consider pursuing a part-time degree while maintaining a full-time job.

He added, “After your grad, if you jump, I think you can easily hit 4.5k mark already or somewhere there. You can try the project management course, switch to pm in future if you desire a higher paying job. It’s in the same industry too.”

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Read also: “Is a degree really important?”: Singaporeans weigh in

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