I recently received this query from a reader (published anonymously with consent):

Dear Financial Horse,

I am writing to request for further assistance to building a diversified portfolio. I have read stock analysis and calculations of the US largest companies on the stock markets, I have no clue where to begin because of the ever-changing dynamics of the political and economic environment. I do not know the history/trend of their performance unlike experienced investors. 

My reason for wanting to invest in securities is because I would like to save up enough to buy a condominium in five years’ time. Yes, it may sound ambitious or even greedy but I want to give my mum the best in the world. Although I love my 9-6 job, my salary will never get me close. At 28 years old, I am willing to take the risk to invest my savings, leaving my CPF