THE rush is on for Singaporeans' money, following the relaxation of rules on the use of Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings for investment. Brokers, banks and insurance companies are competing for what a Stock Exchange of Singapore official described as a ''potential pool of about S$14 billion [about HK$68.86 billion]''. In a newspaper advertisement, one insurance company invited the public to improve the performance of their pension funds with its savings account. Another proclaimed in a full-page advertisement: ''We make your CPF work twice as hard.'' Singaporeans appear as eager to part with their money as financial institutions are to receive it. Even before October 1, when additional CPF money was released for investment and the scope for investors widened, there were signs of increasing public interest in the stock market. In the first nine months of this year, 195,000 securities accounts were opened with the exchange's central depository, representing a 40 per cent increase. On the first day of trading under the new CPF rules, the computerised trading system broke down temporarily under a flood of buy orders. And at the weekend, 30,000 eager investors crowded the counters of stockbroking firms at an investment fair organised by the exchange. The exchange said the fair was aimed at educating the public on trading procedures and investment strategies. The programme included workshop meetings with stockbrokers and investment talks by researchers from broking firms. The talks covered basic guidelines on stock investment, technical analysis, market risk and outlook. Some 7,600 people attended the talks. The central depository said 5,000 accounts were opened during the two-day fair while a further 10,000 were registered with stockbroking firms. The exchange said the response was beyond expectations and it might consider other fairs in the future. Meanwhile, the CPF is mailing out forms for members to buy shares in Singapore Telecom, the discounted portion of the forthcoming offer available to the public. Amid all the hype surrounding the current ''Invest Singapore'' campaign, some effort has also been made to remind the public of the possible pitfalls of playing the stock market. Speaking at the opening of the investment fair, the exchange's deputy chairman, George Teo, warned new investors not to be carried away by the euphoria of the current bull market. He said they should not make investments without studying the fundamentals of the stock. ''Greed often takes over in bull markets,'' he said. ''People who make a few dollars try to make more the next time. They over-commit. When the market tumbles, they are driven to desperation.'' Noting strong public interest in initial public offerings, Mr Teo said some investors thought companies which passed the exchange's vetting process for listing were safe, guaranteed investments, but that was not so. ''The exchange cannot guarantee that investors will make money,'' he said. Mr Teo said that with the additional CPF money now available, the stockbroking industry was ''on the brink of a revolution''. However, while the change in CPF investment rules had created a tremendous opportunity for companies to build up clientele and business, it also came with heavier responsibilities. The Chinese-language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao said some Singaporeans were likely to think that investing in shares was like buying a house and was a ''sure win''. It called for an education campaign for new investors. It seems that new investors need to be conscious of the danger of losing not only their money but also their scrip. The exchange has warned investors to be careful with their share certificates after $500,000 worth of scrip reportedly disappeared together with two remisers to whom it had been entrusted.